History podcasts have emerged as a popular and engaging medium for learning about the past. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or a casual listener, the world of podcasts offers a diverse range of shows that cover various historical events, figures, and themes. In this blog, we’ll delve into some of the best history podcasts, each offering a unique perspective on the tapestry of human history.
Hosted by Dan Carlin, Hardcore History stands out for its deep dives into historical events and figures. Carlin employs a captivating narrative style, often using speculative history and drawing comparisons to the present day. His episodes, sometimes spanning hours, provide an in-depth exploration of topics like World War I, the Mongol Empire, and the fall of the Roman Republic. Hardcore History is not just a podcast; it’s an immersive journey into the complexities of our shared past.
Mike Duncan, the creator of the acclaimed podcast The History of Rome, takes listeners on a journey through major revolutions in world history in Revolutions. Duncan narrates the dramatic stories of upheavals such as the English Civil War, the French Revolution, and the Haitian Revolution. His meticulous research and storytelling prowess make each episode a gripping exploration of the social, political, and cultural changes that shaped nations.
Backstory, hosted by Ed Ayers, Brian Balogh, Nathan Connolly, and Joanne Freeman, uniquely intertwines current issues and headlines with American history. The hosts, all esteemed historians, provide insightful analyses that help listeners understand contemporary events in a broader historical context. By blending expertise and relevance, Backstory bridges the gap between past and present, making history an accessible and essential part of our understanding of the world.
Hosted by William Dalrymple and Anita Anand, “Empire” explores the stories, personalities, and events of empires throughout history. The podcast provides a nuanced understanding of imperial histories, shedding light on the complexities and legacies of these vast and influential entities.
The History Chicks
Beckett Graham and Susan Vollenweider bring history to life by focusing on influential women in The History Chicks. The podcast delves into the lives and contributions of women, often overlooked in traditional history. From queens and authors to entertainers and activists, it celebrates their diverse and impactful roles. The History Chicks serve as a reminder of the significant contributions women have made throughout history.
BBC’s Witness offers a unique approach to history by presenting first-person accounts of historical events. By hearing stories directly from those who lived through them, listeners gain a more personal and intimate understanding of pivotal moments in history. Witness transforms the past from a distant narrative into a living, breathing experience.
30 for 30
For sports enthusiasts with a penchant for history, the 30 for 30 podcast offers a compelling exploration of sports stories from the past. Inspired by ESPN’s documentary series, this podcast covers a range of topics, from the rise and fall of Bikram yoga to the scandal of the 2006 World Cup. By intertwining sports and history, 30 for 30 delivers captivating narratives that extend beyond the playing field.
You’re Wrong About
“You’re Wrong About” is hosted by Michael Hobbes and Sarah Marshall. The podcast revisits and debunks myths about historical events and figures. From the O.J. Simpson trial to Princess Diana and the Satanic Panic, the hosts provide a fresh perspective. They challenge prevailing narratives and encourage listeners to question what they think they know about the past.
Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds inject humor into history with The Dollop. The podcast takes a comedic approach to storytelling, recounting obscure and absurd events and people from American history. From the bizarre tale of the Emu War to the eccentricities of the Stomach Men, The Dollop demonstrates that history can be both educational and entertaining.
Stuff You Missed in History Class
Hosts Holly Frey and Tracy V. Wilson dig into the lesser-known and often overlooked aspects of history in Stuff You Missed in History Class. The podcast explores various topics, including chocolate, toilets, and pirate adventures. Frey and Wilson use a dynamic storytelling style to highlight these hidden gems. They prove that history is brimming with fascinating details waiting to be discovered.
Produced by the BBC History Magazine, History Extra features interviews with leading historians and experts on various historical topics. Whether exploring ancient Rome, medieval England, or the American Civil War, this podcast provides listeners with in-depth insights into pivotal moments and figures from the past. History Extra is a valuable resource for those seeking a well-rounded understanding of history through expert perspectives.
The Memory Palace
Nate DiMeo, the creator of The Memory Palace, tells short and poetic stories about forgotten moments and people from history. Each episode is a carefully crafted narrative that transports listeners to a different time and place. By highlighting the overlooked aspects of history, The Memory Palace offers a unique and evocative exploration of the human experience.
Aaron Mahnke delves into the dark and mysterious side of history in Lore. Exploring the origins and legends of folklore, superstitions, and myths from around the world, Mahnke reveals the often eerie and unsettling aspects of our collective past. Lore combines history and storytelling to create a podcast that is both informative and spine-chilling.
The History of Rome
Explore the captivating story of Rome with Mike Duncan’s “The History of Rome.” This podcast chronicles the rise and fall of one of history’s most influential civilizations. It covers politics, culture, and wars from the empire’s founding to its collapse, providing a detailed journey through the events that shaped the ancient world.
Dan Snow’s History Hit
Hosted by Dan Snow, “History Hit” features interviews with historians, authors, and experts on various topics and periods of history. Snow’s engaging conversations cover a wide range of subjects, from the Tudors and Vikings to the World Wars. “History Hit” provides listeners with the opportunity to gain insights from leading experts in the field.
In Our Time
Melvyn Bragg hosts “In Our Time: History,” where a panel of guests discusses the history of ideas, events, and movements. The podcast covers a diverse range of topics, from the Renaissance and the French Revolution to the Enlightenment. Through lively discussions, the show offers a comprehensive exploration of key historical themes.
In the world of history podcasts, there’s a diverse array of options to suit every taste and interest. Whether you’re drawn to dramatic narratives, comedic storytelling, in-depth interviews, or explorations of forgotten moments, these podcasts offer a gateway to the past. By combining entertainment with education, these shows make history accessible and enjoyable for listeners of all backgrounds. So, pick your favorite, plug in your earphones, and embark on a journey through time with some of the best history podcasts available today.